DEARBORN, Mich. (FOX 2) - The Dearborn Police Department announced on Tuesday that a 28-year-old man has been arrested on arson charges after authorities said he tried to set the Dearborn Fresh Supermarket on fire over the weekend.
Marcus Flowers was arrested in connection to the arson at Dearborn Fresh Supermarket and was charged this week.
According to Dearborn Police Chief Issa Shahin, the Dearborn Fire Department responded to two different fires at the supermarket this weekend. The first one was early Saturday morning and was quickly put out by the fire department.
On Sunday, around 5:30 a.m., an officer on patrol near the supermarket saw someone setting the market on fire, according to Shahin.
"We actually had an officer sitting in the parking lot doing surveillance at the supermarket to make sure everyone stayed safe. He actually witnessed the second fire take place," said Cpl. Dan Bartok
The man sped off with police chasing him and, when they tried to pull him over, he led a high-speed chase through the city.
At one point, as he was trying to flip a u-turn, he crashed head-on into the officer who was chasing him. A second officer, in an unamrked pickup truck, was also chasing him.
Video showed the man identified as Flowers driving over a median and across people's yards to try to get away. The officer then caught up to the car and hit him multiple times, disabling the vehicle.
The suspect wasn't done and jumped out and tried to run on foot.
After a brief chase, he was arrested on Michels Street in Dearborn.
According to police, Flowers was wearing a black cloak when he poured gasoline on the ground and then lit it on fire. In video released by police, it appears he may have set his cloak or foot on fire.
Flowers was charged with third-degree fleeing and eluding and one count of arson.
Shahin said there are no political or ideological motives behind the fires and says Flowers has an extensive mental health history.
"While we understand the great fear these incidents can cause, it is critical that we also understand that unaddressed mental health criseses can lead people to acts of violence," Shahin said.
The Dearborn Police Department is working with the city's department of public health to develop a policy on responding to public health crises like these.
"The city of dearborn just recently announced the position of public health director. The city will be taking a stance on that as well to address a larger picture of this," Bartok said.